When Colt was a baby, my friend Nancy highly recommended an item by Pampered Chef – the Quik-Stir Pitcher. The handle pumps up and down, and the fan-shaped panel at the bottom mixes like magic. She swore by it — specifically for mixing baby formula — and I bought one.


We never ended up using it to mix formula, but that handy thing makes what Colt calls Pink Water — and there’s been a pitcher of it in our fridge every day for years now. We used the heck outta that fancy Pampered Chef pitcher. Up, down. Day in, day out.

Until it broke.

I guess I got a little zealous with the Crystal Light and the handle snapped. And since that thing had become a daily staple, it had to be replaced. And wouldn’t you know it, when I went to order a new one — they’d come out with a BIGGER and BETTER version.


Same mixing magic. But Family Size! I bought it without a second thought.


So much.

It’s too big. It’s too much. It’s too heavy to grab out of the fridge with one hand, and every time I go to pour myself a glass of pink water (reminder: that’s DAILY) I am annoyed. Annoyed that the first pitcher broke. Annoyed that I replaced it with something that doesn’t work for us. Annoyed that this piece of plastic makes me annoyed. Yet, I continue to use it. I pour the powder, I pump the handle, I mumble the choice words under my breath. Because I’ve paid for this thing. There’s nothing “wrong” with it — it isn’t broken and it isn’t too big for our fridge.

So for almost two years — this pitcher has been winning. It has been getting the best of me, and I’ve just let it happen. Instead of just calling it, admitting defeat, and spending another 20 bucks for a new, smaller pitcher. But NO MORE.

I ordered a new one this week as a 2016 gift to myself.

May 2016 be the year I get better at letting go of what’s not quite right for me. Solutions and expectations built for someone else’s circumstances, someone else’s reality. May 2016 be the year I’m less susceptible to the illusion of “bigger and better.” May 2016 be the year I speak up for myself – to myself – and identify what works. For ME. For MY FAMILY. May 2016 be the year of self-awareness. May 2016 be the year I say “no thanks” to the hard way and the it-seems-to-work-for-everybody-else way and the but-it’s-BIGGER-and-BETTER way.

Bigger and better is all relative. That Family Size Pitcher may be a dream product to thousands of other people, but it didn’t work for me. At all. And instead of admitting that and moving on, I gritted my teeth and let a $20 piece of plastic annoy me every single day. DON’T BE LIKE ME. Be a grown up. Use your grown-upness to identify things in your life — big and small — that just don’t work for you and your family. And do what works.

That’s my wish for all of you this year. Find what works. Do what works. Life is too short for the alternative.

5 thoughts on “2 Quarts of Self-Awareness for 2016

  1. I think your writing gets better and better. You know I’m one of your biggest fans! I hope and pray 2016 is the best year ever for the Hoods. We love you guys bunches and are so thankful to still be part of your lives!! We’ve come a long way since the beautiful “Cool Water Days”!!

  2. A great start for another year of blogging. Keep up the wonderful work. :)

  3. all the yeses! keep doing you, friend!

  4. Should you discover that you don’t love a Pampered Chef product that you purchase in the future, just contact our Customer Solutions team within a year to return it.

    For returns within 30 days of ship date Pampered Chef will exchange, replacement or refund, AND will arrange prepaid (free) shipping. For returns after 30 days of ship date: return shipping charges are the customers responsibility. Returns must be received before any exchange, replacement or refund is processed.

    I’m sorry that your consultant didn’t let you know about this amazing return policy. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all about our products, recipes, parties or business.

    Carol, Independent Director and Trainer for Pampered Chef

  5. AND:0) PC consultant for 22+ yrs

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